Potent evolution – the mage levels up in DQ4
The mage has always been something of an odd ball in past DestinyQuest books, a sort of inbetweener, combining some of the high damage output of a rogue with the durability of a warrior. Their access to a myriad of spells means that they’ve always been interesting and fun to play, but perhaps lacked a true identity of their own.
When it came to planning up the mage path in Raiders of Dune Sea, I wanted the mage to feel unique and interesting – after all, they are wielding a deadly and volatile force, so there really should be a sense of danger when manipulating such energies. I therefore came up with the ‘spending’ dynamic, whereby mages must often spend magic points to cast their most potent spells and buffs.
The spending mechanic is very simple. Some spells will have a cost (in magic points) and in order to use them in combat you must simply lower your magic score by a specified amount. This means that each time you call on these types of spells, your overall magic score is depleting, so your base attack will be weaker.
Hmm, that might not sound so great. However, fear not – mages have plenty of tricks up their arcane sleeves. There are some abilities that have powers you can call on in combat that also restore spent magic. Useful if you have over-weakened yourself and need to regain some of those points back. Here is one of those nice little abilities:
Innovation (co): Instead of rolling for a damage score, you can cast innovation. This inflicts 4 damage to any two opponents, ignoring armour, and restores up to 2 spent magic points.
This new spending mechanism adds an exciting new dynamic to combat, forcing the mage player to make difficult and tactical decisions on when to throw out certain spells (at the cost of weakening themselves) and when to restore magic. In longer battles and linked encounters, this becomes even more important, as you will need to take care not to weaken yourself to the point where you cannot effectively compete against your foes.
As I mentioned earlier, mages have a plethora of abilities to fall back on – so even when all seems lost, never underestimate their strength. With the new minions that can be summoned into combat, the mage has truly evolved into a power house of pain and durability that should never be taken lightly.
In the next path focus, it will be time to turn to the shadows, and discover some of the deadly secrets of the Book Four rogue.
Until then, happy adventuring!